My darlings, I’d love to share a couple photos from our Christmas vacation. California was a great place to travel as a family. As a new-ish mom, I was a little nervous about such a big trip with the baby, but the warm weather made things soooo easy and fun; Toby loved all the action (and avocados), and we could take walks on the beach while he napped in the stroller.

One afternoon, we went out onto the Venice pier. I was impressed that the surfers were going strong in December–the water was freezing that day!

It was really nice to be out and about with nothing to do.

Guess what Toby got for Christmas? His two front teeth!

After a while, we stopped so I could nurse Toby next to a bunch of guys playing basketball. Of course, he wanted to watch the game afterwards. :)

Whenever we’re in L.A., Alex always wants to stop by Stronghold, an hipper-than-hip store with selvedge jeans, Filson bags and friendly salespeople. Toby loved rolling around on the rug and trying on the hats. (He looked awesome in a fedora:)

Bonus: They have free whiskey, so you can pour yourself a drink!

Late that afternoon, we met up with our friends Michael and Caroline at the restaurant Gjelina. We sat in the back garden and got pizzas and salads.

I love this photo of Toby. Doesn’t he look like such a player? :) He’s like, “Yeah, I’m chilling in the arms of a beautiful older woman, no big deal.”

Now we’re secretly fantasizing about moving to L.A. :) It’s such a fun place, and we can’t wait to go back!

A few of our favorite places in west Los Angeles, which we’ve been to over the years:
* Huckleberry Cafe for lunch. (The yummiest salads and sandwiches and desserts. I could eat here everyday.)
* Blue Plate Oysterette for lunch. (Fish tacos in a breezy little nautical restaurant across from the beach.)
* Tavern. (Big, beautiful, understated room with trees indoors. We think we spotted David Hockney at the next table. Their adjoining bakery sells delicious desserts, including chocolate-chip cookies made two ways: crispy and chewy. Genius!)
* Gjelina. (Dark, bustling, sceney. Fun vibe; sexy lighting. A fire pit in the back garden.)
* The Tasting Kitchen. (We had such a romantic date here. Dark, lovely. Don’t miss the bread pudding.)

Have you ever been to L.A., or do you live there? Any favorite restaurants or tips? I’d love to hear. xoxo

Next up: Palm Springs

(Photos taken with the Hipstamatic App on the iPhone)